My daughter have no parents or why would the data be normalized

A Swedish friend who just had twins here in the US asked me about the passport troubles we had with my daughter (who is also born in the US) so that they could avoid it. It’s quite a fun story so here it is. First a little background; in Sweden everybody gets a “personal number”…

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Green card medical exam

In order to get a green card (permanent residency in the US) you need to undergo a medical exam. And only a few certified physicians can do this. Part of the exam they must verify your gender which apparently can be quite uncomfortable if you’re a woman and your physician has a bad day. So…

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Make sure you have a backup plan when relocating

Some banks are really paranoid. Which is good since it means they want to protect my money. The problem is that the time difference and distance to Sweden makes it a little bit cumbersome at times… I wish somebody told me to give my parents power of attorney before I moved. That would have saved me…

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What morale events look like

The thing about ship parties made me think about a more common event at Microsoft; Morale events. What I’ve seen is that depending on who’s the hosting manager (i.e. the manager that is everybody else’s boss directly or indirectly) your morale event will be different. On one end of the spectrum we have the manager…

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Having a ship party at Microsoft

The best thing about relocating to Redmond is the opportunity to attend ship parties. Assuming that you work on a shipping product… I would like to add a few things to this list: Do not light a cigarette next to somebody covered in silly-string. Do not work on a team that saves budget unless you…

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Can your code handle a räksmörgås?

Räksmörgås is Swedish for prawn sandwich and is often used when testing computer systems since it contains all three of the “extra” Swedish characters (ÅÄÖ). While that may be an interesting test I stumbled over this old thing called a Turkey test today and I think it is brilliant. Especially since I’ve experienced a few…

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Improving meetings with ROTI

There are two things people seam to love at Microsoft; Meetings and email. The latter needs a quick mentioning; there is definitely a culture at Microsoft where a lot of people tend to send email rather than walk a few meters to somebody else’s office and actually talk to them. Enough about that. Meetings… I’m…

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Spelling in English

Sorry for this, but I’ve noticed lately that one thing I learned in the army has been very useful when moving to the US. And that is using the NATO Spelling Alphabet. The last years before the move the Swedish army started to use NATO standards for call signs, moving toward using English in all…

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PAL to NTCS converter

Finding a good PAL to NTCS converter turned out to be harder than expected. I needed something for my Wii, DVD player and digital video camera. And also something that would work with the TV I got. Turned out I had to dig a little bit more into my pocket than expected but so far…

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Cash register feature

A funny thing I’ve experienced here in the US is how the cash register systems at Fred Meyer and QFC (two large food store chains which apparently have the same owner). Most stores have offers where you get a discount when you buy more than one item (2 for $5 or $3 each). The funny…

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